Tag - University City

New Concept in the Works for Old Randolfi’s Space in U. City

New Concept in the Works for Old Randolfi’s Space in U. City

Privado Will Bring Weekend Fine Dining & Pop-Up Venue to the Loop

University City, MO/October 14, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – Privado is Spanish for private.  That’s the name acclaimed chef Mike Randolph has chosen for the new concept eatery he’s opening in the footprint of Randolfi’s, which closed in September after two years in The Loop.  Privado is a fitting moniker for the place, given the concept which combines intimate fine dining experiences with private events and guest chef pop-up dinners.  A two-time James Beard semifinalist, Randolph says he envisions Privado as “a culinary idea house” where adventurous diners and chefs can explore food-centric experiences together.

Randolph plans to offer dinner service Friday and Saturday evenings.  The chef calls it fine dining, but it won’t be your typical candlelit dinner.  Instead, Randolph says it will feel much more private.  There will be just one sitting, at 7:00 p.m.  And it will be intimate.  Just 16 diners will be seated in front of the open exhibition kitchen.  Like his Diversion Dinners series at Half and Half, Randolph says the front of the restaurant will be dark, with chairs on the tables to evoke the appearance that the place is closed and that the meal is a private, after-hours affair.  Ticketed diners will enjoy a 12-15 course tasting experience from a menu that won’t be fully disclosed in advance.  In a statement, Randolph called the dinners “an evolution of [the chef’s] past tasting menu experiences of Little Country Gentleman to Diversion Dinners.”  The first dinner is set for Friday, October 20th.  Tickets for this unique culinary experience are $100 each, exclusive of tax and tip, and can be purchased online.

On weeknights, Chef Randolph plans to invite guest chefs to create pop-up dinners in the space.  Privado has a wood-burning fire, and the chef has expressed interest in using it to create some unique dining experiences, possibly including some special pizza nights.  In a release, Randolph said, “Privado will be a playground for the culinary adventurers in an approachable setting without the pretense of fine dining.”

The rest of the time, Privado will serve as a private events venue.  The space can be booked for private parties and corporate meetings.  Randolph says they plan to tailor the experience to suit the group.  That includes the catering menu, which can be comprised of anything and everything the Randolph family of restaurants has to offer.  According to the Privado website, Chef Randolph can also create interactive experiences, like pizza making demonstrations.

The bar at Privado will be open on Fridays and Saturdays, offering innovative cocktail service.  Walk-ins will be accepted as space allows, but reservations are strongly recommended to ensure your chance to participate in what promises to be a unique, private dining experience.

Contact Information:

6665 Delmar Blvd.
The Loop
University City, MO 63130
Phone: (314) 899-9221


By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

Another Restaurant in The Delmar Loop Closing

Another Restaurant in The Delmar Loop Closing

Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen Will Close in September

University City, MO/September 2, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – In some places, the only constant is change. The Delmar Loop is one such place.  The pseudo-residential entertainment district is an eclectic collection of quirky shops, unique restaurants, and one of the best people-watching venues in the metro area.  Just as it is always busy, it seems to also be a place always in flux—dynamic and ever-changing.

Sometimes the changes are good, like when the Delmar Loop was designated a Green Dining District, with LED lighting and cigarette butt recycling containers added to the street.  Sometimes the news is bad, when someone or something is lost.  This week’s news is the latter kind.  In a Facebook announcement this week, we learned that Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen at 6665 Delmar Blvd. will close at the end of service Saturday, Sept. 9.

Open just two years, the restaurant was the brainchild of James Beard-nominated chef Mike Randolph and his wife/partner Liz Randolph.  It had been chef Randolph’s homage to his Italian roots, but with his uniquely playful take on classic fare. Randolph’s culinary philosophy calls for him to challenge expectations of the norm.  Menu items at Randolfi’s cover the traditional Italian restaurant range from antipasti, salads, and starters to house made, shareable pasta courses, oven-roasted entrees, and chef’s famous Neapolitan-style pizza, but at Randolfi’s there’s generally a touch of the unexpected, like making a classic Caesar Salad with kale.

As seems to be a trend in the modern business era, the Randolph’s took to Facebook Monday to announced their plans to close the restaurant.  They wrote:

“It is with heavy hearts that we are announcing the closure of Randolfi’s.  Our last day of service will be Saturday, September 9th.  We’ve thrown everything that we have into this restaurant.  There have been a lot of tears, but it’s time to close the chapter.  We are so proud of what we’ve accomplished at Randolfi’s.  We appreciate every kind word and every satisfied diner who’s supported us.  Randolfi’s was called the ‘most soulful restaurant in St. Louis’ last year, and that’s exactly how we feel about the food and the experience.”

The restaurant was a tribute to Chef Randolph’s family heritage, especially to his late father.  The name Randolfi was his family’s name before they moved to the United States from Italy.  In announcing their plans, the Randolphs called the decision to close “deeply personal.”  Chef Randolph also lauded praise on his chef de cuisine Tommy Andrew, calling Chef Andrew “one of the most talented chefs that I’ve ever had the pleasure of standing shoulder to shoulder with in the kitchen.”  Chef Randolph went on to say, “Liz and I will be the first to dine wherever he lands.”

Randolfi’s Italian Kitchen was chef Randolph’s second restaurant in the space—sort of.  In 2014, he moved the Good Pie, his Neapolitan pizzeria, from Midtown.  It morphed into Randolfi’s the next year.  It’s unclear if the Randolphs are calling it quits at the Delmar location, or if they’ll open a new concept in the space.  For now, we can still enjoy chef Randolph’s critically acclaimed Central American-inspired gastropub, Público (6679 Delmar Blvd, University City), and the breakfast and brunch spot Liz Randolph runs in Clayton, Half & Half (8133 Maryland Ave).  Only time will tell what the couple cooks up next.


By Susan Smith-Harmon – published on STLRestaurant.News by St. Louis Media, LLC

Now Open: The Mad Crab in University City

Now Open: The Mad Crab in University City - STLRestaurant.News

BYOB (Build Your Own Boil) at the Mad Crab

University City, MO/August 9, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – No plates!  Who ever heard of a restaurant with no plates?  At the Mad Crab at 8080 Olive Blvd. in University City, they line the tables with paper and serve your boil or fried basket right on the table—they just dump it out and you dig in.  This is fresh, casual dining at its best.

The concept may be new to St. Louis, but it’s old hat in Texas and California.  First time restaurateurs and brothers Nam and Victor Ho modeled their restaurant after similar concepts Victor Ho had discovered while living in Dallas.  Victor Ho had moved to Texas after selling his successful nail supply business (Max Beauty Source) on Olive to other family members a few years ago.  He’s partnered with his brother Nam Ho in the new venture.  Nam Ho, who lives here, manages the Mad Crab’s day-to-day operations, including leading the restaurant’s culinary team.

The Mad Crab opened July 17th at 8080 Olive Blvd., where Kim Son Vietnamese Bistro had been before it closed in May.  The Ho brothers gave the restaurant a nautical facelift, with wood planking on some walls, lots of netting, and rustic wooden posts that give the interior a seaside vibe.  Victor gives University City officials credit for moving things along swiftly so that he and Nam could get the restaurant up and running in such a short time.

The ultra-simple concept puts the focus on the fresh seafood itself.  Customers choose which seafood to include in their boil: blue crab, crab legs (Snow, Dungeness or King crab), crawfish, lobster, shrimp (heads on or off), oysters, clams, or mussels.  Seafood is priced by the pound, and varies based on market prices because it’s fresh.  Frozen crawfish can be had for $6/pound.  Clams will run you $11/pound, mussels $10/pound. Mix and match the seafood options any way you like.  Diners can order steamed rice to go with their BYOB or add the traditional corn, potatoes, or sausage to their boil, then pick from three flavor options that can be combined any way you want.  The choices include: Cajun, lemon pepper, and garlic sauce, or “The Whole Sha-Bang!” which combines all three.  Spice levels can be adjusted too.  The menu explains the range this way: non spicy (plain n simple), mild (just a kick), medium (it’s getting HOT in here!) and XXX (I can’t feel my mouth).  The seafood is boiled, seasoned, and literally dumped on your paper-lined table—no plates or utensils.  It really is a fun way to eat, especially if you’re sharing.

The fried baskets work on the same principle.  They offer breaded, fried catfish, fried shrimp or fried chicken tenders.  Each is served with an order of French fries or Cajun fries.  There are also apps including raw Gulf oysters, hot wings (seasoned with the same Cajun, lemon-pepper, or garlic sauce), and fried shrimp baskets.  Like the boils, they cook it up and dump it on your table so you can dig in with your fingers.  If you’re really not into finger food, you can order a plate from a menu that includes gumbo, fried rice, and noodles with crawfish or shrimp.

The Mad Crab is open Monday – Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. and Saturday – Sunday from noon to 11:00 p.m.  The Ho brothers plan to add canned and bottled beer, along with wine to their offerings, as soon as their liquor license is approved.  In the meantime, customers can wash down that scrumptious, fresh seafood with a soft drink.

Contact Information:

The Mad Crab
Owners: Victor and Nam Ho (brothers)
8080 Olive Boulevard
University City, MO

Longtime Delmar Loop Icon, Cicero’s is Closing

Longtime Delmar Loop Icon, Cicero’s is Closing

Final Concert at Cicero’s is this Weekend

University City, MO/June 20, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – A special era in St. Louis’ vibrant nightlife is about to come to an end. Cicero’s at 6691 Delmar in the University City Loop is closing this weekend.  Cicero’s music venue manager and talent buyer Jay Mumma had announced yesterday on Facebook that this Saturday’s performance by The Weekend Routine would be the last concert event at the iconic venue.  Today, the Jacobs family which owns the iconic restaurant and bar, announced that Cicero’s will close permanently on Sunday, June 25, 2017.  The announcement comes a year after the death of Jacobs patriarch and Cicero’s founder Shawn Jacobs death in June 2016.  Cicero’s is currently owned by Chad and Trisha Jacobs, who took over after their father’s death. (Their mother Alice passed away in 2012.)

On the official Cicero’s Facebook page the Jacob’s posted the notice:

Dear friends and patrons,

It’s with an extremely heavy heart that I inform you all that our last day of business will be Sunday, June 25th.  After nearly forty years of serving up some of St. Louis’ best pizza, and beer, among other things, we’ve determined it no longer makes sense to continue.  Our father, Shawn, put his heart and soul into a place that has become a St. Louis institution.  He, and our mom, Alice, sacrificed everything our family had, and took a huge risk, to open Cicero’s.  We couldn’t be prouder of them for their accomplishments.

We want to thank everyone who has patronized Cicero’s over the years.  You all have played an integral role in making the restaurant a St. Louis landmark.  We would also like to thank all of our employees who made our successes possible.  Everyone connected to Cicero’s has had some amazing times; some good, and some bad.  We hope that you can appreciate all of those times, and recognize the influence our family had in your life.  That would mean the world to us.

If you are interested in continuing the Cicero’s legacy, we are looking for prospective buyers.  Please contact Ron Kramer at Kramer Commercial Realty. He can be reached at 314-221-6276.

Until we see you again.
The Jacobs Family

The late Shawn Jacobs opened Cicero’s in 1977 at 6510 Delmar Blvd. in the corner of the building now occupied by Blueberry Hill.  Cicero’s offered pizza, toasted ravioli, and other Italian fare, along with independent label beers like Heineken and St. Pauli Girl, that were harder to find in St. Louis at that time than the locally made AB products.

Cicero’s began hosting concerts in their basement bar in 1984.  In his Facebook post, Mumma wrote about the history of live performances at Cicero’s, including that first performance by guitarist Buddy Guy that kicked off the basement bar as a performance venue.  Since then Cicero’s stage has served as a launching pad for many nationally and internationally famous acts. Mumma credits the bar with making the Loop important to the music industry and fans alike.  “The old Basement Bar was an iconic room, introducing many groundbreaking artists in the music industry to the St Louis market and putting the UCity Loop on the musical map,” Mumma said.  Some of the acts who’ve performed there over the years include Beck, Ani DiFranco, The Cranberries, The Indigo Girls, They Might Be Giants, and more recently Umphrey’s McGee and Bowling for Soup.

A clip from a 2014 performance by Slow Down Scarlett on the Cicero’s stage.

In 1997 Cicero’s moved a few blocks west from its original location at Delmar Blvd. and Melville Ave. to its current location at 6691 Delmar Blvd (at Kingsland).  The new space offered more space for both restaurant and music venue.  In the new space, a dessert case was added that became quite popular with Loop visitors.  They also built a 50-tap bar (later expanded to 55-taps) and the focus shifted to beer, including the creation of a “beer school” aimed at educating patrons about the art and craft of beer making, and introducing them to new brews.

On a personal note: I have very fond memories of Cicero’s in the 1980s and 90s.  It was a favorite dinner stop before the midnight showing of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at the Varsity Theater (now Vintage Vinyl), and one of the best places in St. Louis to see a jam band performance.  Both the original location and the current spot are thick with memories for many music fans in St. Louis, myself included.  This is a real loss to the community.

Contact Information:

Owners: Chad Jacobs and Trisha Jacobs
University City Loop
6691 Delmar Blvd.
University City, MO 63130
(314) 862-0009

W Karaoke Will Bring Something Totally New to The Loop

W Karaoke Will Bring Something Totally New to The Loop

Asian Karaoke to fill Vacant Social Club II

University City, MO/June 6, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – One of St. Louis’ premiere entertainment districts is about to get something totally new to the area, an Asian-style Karaoke lounge.  St. Louis restaurateur Ivan Wei plans to open W Karaoke in October, right next door to his Corner 17 and Joy Luck Express restaurants.  We profiled Wei’s University City eateries last July.  Wei is working with Tao+Lee Associates to renovate the old Social House II at 6655 Delmar Blvd.  This is the same design firm he tapped for last year’s expansion of Corner 17 and creation of his Asian express takeout, Joy Luck Express.

The site of his new venture has a history of cutting edge entertainment and controversy.  Social House II closed last June after just four-months in business.  The controversial nightclub had drawn protests from the community and members of the University City government over the scantily clad servers (who wore only pasties and body paint from the waist up).  Wei’s planned karaoke lounge has already won approval from the University City council.  Wei won approval of his conditional use permit for the karaoke bar at the May 8th city council meeting.

Renovations are underway, including a gut rehab of the building and installation of an elaborate sound system that will allow karaoke performances in multiple locations inside the 4,000-square foot lounge.  W Karaoke will feature 11 private rooms that can accommodate five-six people, and an open common area with a bar.  Each room will have it’s own karaoke setup, allowing customers to sing for just their friends, or belt out a tune in the larger, and more public bar space.  The multiple private rooms allowing performers to sing for just the audience they want is the crux of the difference between traditional American-style karaoke and Asian-style.

Asian-style karaoke lounges have been very popular, especially with college students, in China, Korea, and Japan for several years.  They’re also hot right now in major U.S. cities like New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago.  While there are a few spots offering Chinese karaoke and Korean karaoke in the St. Louis area, Wei’s new place will be different.  He says customers won’t find just another bar when they walk into his lounge.  W Karaoke will feel be glitzy and more glamorous.

W Karaoke Lounge will offer a full bar along with simple, limited menu of American eats and Pan-Asian cuisine.  Although food won’t be the main draw, the popularity of Wei’s restaurants, especially the noodles at Corner 17, it’s sure to be a nice addition to the karaoke lounge.  The plan is for W Karaoke to be open Sunday – Thursday from 2:00 p.m. to midnight, and Friday – Saturday from 2:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.  The new lounge is slated to open in October.

Piccione Pastry Shop Celebrates Birthday With Festivities

Piccione Pastry Shop Celebrates Birthday With Festivities

ST. LOUIS, MO/April 19, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) Piccione Pastry is celebrating its fourth birthday this week.

To mark the occasion, St. Louis’ premier Italian pastry shop in the Delmar Loop is offering special treats, discounts and drawings, and an epic showdown as participants take on the shop’s All-You-Can-Eat- Cannoli Contest.

“We are grateful for our loyal customers and dedicated staff that have already made Piccione Pastry a local favorite. It’s important for us to share this celebration with them, said Piccione Pastry Chef, Colleen McBryan.

“St. Louisans have requested a second all-you-can-eat cannoli showdown, and we are more than happy to oblige!”  McBryan added.

The shop’s All-You-Can-Eat- Cannoli Contest will take place on April 22nd, which marks the shop’s actual anniversary.  Cannoli lovers will battle to win free pastries for a year.  The contest is free and participants sign up in-store at the pastry counter for the 1 p.m. or 3 p.m. time slots.

All-You-Can-Eat- Cannoli Contest Rules:

  • Eat as many cannolis as you can in 2 minutes! 8 participants per time slot.
  • 1st place winners receive free pastries for a year*!
  • Arrive 15 minutes prior to your start time to get briefed on rules.
  • Otherwise your seat will be given to another participant on the wait-list.
  • Head to the table marked “CANNOLI EATING CONTEST”.
  • Cannolis counted towards final total: -Entire cannoli must be consumed (half eaten cannolis don’t count).
  • Can be crushed/crumbled to eat, but if left uneaten, it will NOT count towards total.

Guests who prefer to purchase pastries and lunch items in-store on April 22 will receive a mystery party favor.  In addition, patrons who spend $10 or more in-store can pull their own party favor from Piccione’s Mystery Grab-Bag to include free items, discounts and more.

Piccione Pastry first opened its doors on April 22, 2013. It’s the only late-night Italian pastry shop of its kind in St. Louis.  The shop features single-serve Italian desserts, rich Italian coffees, locally handcrafted gelato and sorbet and seasonal breakfast and lunch choices, including vegan, vegetarian, sugar-free and gluten-free options.

More information about this week’s festivities are available online at www.piccionepastry.com

Chipotle Is Latest Loop Restaurant to Close

Chipotle Is Latest Loop Restaurant to Close

Lease, Loop Trolley Construction Factors in Chipotle Closing

University City, MO/February 20, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) — The New Trolley that will link University City to Forest Park is going to be a good thing for both businesses along Delmar and visitors to The Loop.  But there’s no denying that construction of the trolley tracks is causing traffic congestion and mess that is deterring some visitors.  Some businesses claim there’s been a noticeable downtick in sales for many of the restaurants, entertainment venues, and retailers during construction of the $50 Million dollar Loop Trolley.

Chipotle Mexcian Grill at 6316 Delmar Blvd. in University City will shut its doors at the end of February—when the lease is up for that site.  The fast-food chain offers Mexican cuisine, including design-your-own burritos, tacos, salads, and bowls.  Chipotle is the latest in a spate of restaurant closings in the area over the last year.  Independents like 8 Dollar Deli, Moya Grill, Seoul Q, and Zippy Burger are among the closure.  Several chain restaurants have also shut their doors, including Chipotle neighbor, Noodles & Co., along with a Panera location (St. Louis Bread Co.), Smoothie King, and Subway.

Only Subway and Chipotle are likely to return any time soon.  There are plans in the works to reopen the Subway Restaurant in a different location a few blocks away.  It is supposed to open early this year at 6253 Delmar, which faces a landscaped pathway through the neighborhood.  A Chipotle company spokesperson says there are plans to open new locations in the metro area, and another location in the Loop is probable, but no details or timetable have been worked out.

Chipotle opened its Loop location in 2007.  That location will close at the end of the day on February 28, 2017.  Ironically, the corporate website is still advertising for crew members for the Delmar Loop location.  There are currently nine other Chipotle Mexican Grill restaurants in the St. Louis area.  The closest alternatives for Chipotle fans are the SLU location at 212 South Grand Blvd. in Midtown, and the 1 North Central location in downtown Clayton.

The Perfect Pancakes at Winslow’s Home

Wonslow’s Home

Taking Locally Sourced to a New Level at Winslow’s Home

University City, MO/January 22, 2017 (STLRestaurant.News) – We are lucky to live in a major metropolitan area in the modern age.  In St. Louis, we are literally surrounded by thousands of restaurants serving just about every kind of food imaginable.  Every corner of the globe is represented.  There are even restaurants that blend cuisines, twisting classic dishes into magical creations so good that it’s hard to imagine no one had thought of that before!  The number of options is mind boggling.  But sometimes you just want a great plate of pancakes, maybe with a little fruit or chocolate chips.  Nothing fancy, just warm and fluffy and buttery and delicious.  You want the buttermilk pancakes from Winslow’s Home at 7213 Delmar Blvd. in University City.  They make pancakes the way your mother or grandmother might have, with flour and baking soda and buttermilk, cage-free eggs, and melted butter.  They’re not fussy, just golden brown and fluffy pancake perfection.

That’s the way it is at Winslow’s Home.  The place is part restaurant and part general store, with a focus on offering fresh, handcrafted goodness.  They specialize in updated American comfort food, but they also sell groceries and home items.  And they take the idea of “locally sourced” to the next level with their own farm.  Ann Sheehan Lipton opened Winslow’s Home in 2008 with a commitment to using whole, seasonal foods and to creating a healthy, sustainable lifestyle.  And she did it with good taste and a touch of panache.

To call this postmodern general store quaint is understating it.  The decor at Winslow’s Home is whimsically charming, with rustic touches and built-in shelves layered in sundry items.  You’ll find a carefully curated selection of cooking utensils, books, stationery, children’s games, and home goods.  You’ll also find artisan and small batch spirits, including small batch whiskeys from the Hudson Valley.  There’s also an amazing bakery inside with cases brimming with European-style breads, pastries, tarts, and cakes.  Everything is made from scratch right there, using the best ingredients and time-honored techniques.

The kitchen at Winslow’s Home serves up wholesome breakfasts, daily quiches, freshly made soups, and artisan sandwiches.  One of the most popular is their beef brisket sandwich.  It’s maple-braised Creekstone Farm beef brisket, brie, and horseradish mayo on a rye bun.  Other great sandwiches include Roasted Pork Sandwich, made with local pork, pimento cheese, pickles, and whole grain mustard on their house-made ciabatta; and the Turkey Burger made with turkey from Buttonwood Farm (California, Missouri), avocado, herbed mayo, sliced red onion, and greens on a sweet brioche bun.  There’s also a kids menu and several vegetarian dishes.  They even have a Grab-n-Go case stocked with soup, take-and-bake scones, pot pies, and other essentials!

Winslow’s Home is open Tuesday – Friday 7:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., Saturday 8:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.  They serve breakfast, lunch, dinner daily.  On weekends they do brunch, including a nice selection of sparkling wines, bloody Marys, mimosas, and Argentinian coffee (made with cold brewed coffee, Fernet Branca bitters, vanilla, and orange).  It goes great with pancakes and with cookies.

And the cookies at Winslow’s Home are good. Really good.  In fact, Food & Wine picked Winslow’s Home’s chocolate chip cookie as one of “America’s Best Chocolate Chip Cookies.”  But if you’re exploring the cookie case, don’t stop with the chocolate chip.  Treat yourself to something special. Have a macaroon, or three.  Or better still, stop in for some warm, buttery, fluffy pancakes, and take some cookies home for later.

Contact Information:

Winslow’s Home
Owner: Ann Sheehan Lipton
7213 Delmar Blvd.
University City, MO 63130
Phone: (314) 725-7559


Picture courtesy of Winslow’s Home


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